Executive chef believes a happy staff trumps all
Clarm started working at in restaurants at age 15. “I was washing dishes,” later moving to preparing salads and soups at Churchill’s Landing in Guelph.
His apprenticeship at the Elora Mill Inn included preparing reakfast and lunch menus. Clarmo graduated with the Chef’s International Red Seal (chef’s papers) at age 19, from the Niagara Culinary Institute.
At age 21, he was hired as Commis de Cuisine (journeyman) at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel in Cambridge. Highlights of Clarmo’s career includes 15 years with Oliver & Bonacini restaurants, including some of the popular and successful restauratns in Canada including Bofinger, Jump Café and Bar, Auberge du Pommier and Canoe.
The best past of his job is “seeing the kitchens execute many fine meals smoothly while being very organized and having a happy staff.” Clarmo says it’s “always cool to cook for athletes, the rich and famous and Hollywood A-listers,” but as important are the locals who frequent the restaurant.
Clarmo’s recipe for success? “Plan well and work with people you trust. Communication is important! I like depth in cooking not glamour on the plate. Less is more.”
Clarmo recently invited Star Spaces into his home.
Q: How would you describe your home in one word?
Q: Tell us about your home.
A: The detached, 2,400-sq. ft., two-floor plus basement, house is located in Milton. We moved in seven years ago. The house has 16-foot ceilings and Brazilian IPE hardwood floors throughout. The living room is lofted. The first change we made to the builder’s model was putting in a new kitchen.
Q: What attracted you to this space?
A: It is a great area to raise a family. We enjoyed designing our own home.
Q: Who shares this home?
A: My wife Darcy and our two kids.
Q: What is your favourite room and why?
A: The kitchen is fun to be in. It is the most relaxing place in the house for me. The kids love my green vegetables like broccoli and simpler foods like pasta. My wife is a pastry cook, anything she bakes, especially her apple pie which is the best in the world!
Q: How would you describe your decorating style?
A: Classic, elegant, chic and French. We prefer pale and off-white shades. The feel of the home is clean and simple. The kitchen has white cupboards, a deep refrigerator, big taps, deep pot sinks and white/beige granite countertops. There is also shelving for my cookbooks. The dining room features a custom-made eight-seat Harvest Wood table and chairs. The living room walls are filled with photos of the kids and east coast art given to us by my in-laws. My son’s room is brown, dark blue and red. His bed is tucked under his huge wall unit. I gave him my hockey card collection which is framed and adorn his walls. My daughter’s room is green with pink highlights and the walls are covered with butterflies and flowers.
Q: What is your fondest memory in this home?
A: Every Christmas. We start decorating after Halloween. The house is beautiful with the decorations, the people and good food — so much love.
Q: What’s the one item in this house you can’t live without?
A: My family — and my six-burner Viking range.
Q: Weekends at home, what are we most likely to find you doing?
A: House work, cooking and playing with the kids. And when I can — playing golf.
Q: If your walls could talk, what would they say?
A: “There is a great, young family growing up here.”